Rovers footballer Jeffrey Ross Brockman avoids jail time over one-punch hit at Wintersun Hotel

Michael RobertsGeraldton Guardian
Jeffrey Ross Brockman broke a man’s jaw in two places at the Wintersun Hotel last year.
Camera IconJeffrey Ross Brockman broke a man’s jaw in two places at the Wintersun Hotel last year. Credit: Michael Roberts/ The Geraldton Guardian

A Geraldton father of three who broke another man’s jaw with a one-punch hit inside a Bluff Point pub late last year has avoided jail time after having his prison term suspended.

Jeffrey Ross Brockman pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm when he faced Geraldton District Court on Monday and was sentenced to a 15-month prison term.

But Judge Gary Massey decided to suspend the sentence for 12 months because Brockman had “taken steps” to change his behaviour since the one-punch assault. The court was told Brockman was with friends at the Wintersun Hotel on December 29 when staff told the group they needed to slow down their drinking or they would be refused service.

Brockman, who plays for the Rovers Football Club, started verbally abusing staff members before a 34-year-old man stepped in to try to calm the situation.

The pair got into an argument and Brockman punched the 34-year-old in the face, breaking his jaw in two places.

Brockman immediately left the pub and was arrested four weeks later. The victim required surgery to his broken jaw but did not suffer permanent damage.

Judge Massey said CCTV footage showed Brockman was ready to walk away from the argument before the victim said words similar to “don’t use the race card”.

“It’s an overreaction to something that was said to you,” Judge Massey said

“And whether or not you perceive that you were the victim of a racial injustice, you just can’t go hitting people.

“We’ve heard a lot about one-punch attacks over the years that people fall backwards, hit their head, and then, all of a sudden, you’re facing much more serious charges.”

The court was told Brockman, who is unemployed, had given up alcohol since the assault.

“You’ve changed,” Judge Massey said.

“So when I have regard to all that, I do think it is appropriate to suspend.”

Judge Massey granted a lifetime restraining order against Brockman to prevent him approaching within 50m of the victim.

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